This week, the TWT team presents part 1 of Rachel’s interview with Caitlyn Calder, parent of a child with complex communication needs and SLP at CHI St. Luke’s Health in Houston TX. Caitlin shares from some of the many lessons she has learned, including working with specialists, teaching her daughter AAC, dealing with expectations that don’t match reality, and navigating the many challenges that complex communication needs can bring.
Before the interview, Rachel and Chris discuss dealing with co-workers and communication partners who are not motivated to provide the best service they can. Ideas for overcoming this include focusing and talking about the positive, charting out growth for everyone to see, incorporating language opportunities into routines, and more!
Key ideas this week:
🔑 Parents & teachers can think “this isn’t working” when there isn’t quick success, but its normal for kids with complex communication needs to take significant time to learn language.
🔑 Parents who expect to use the device 24/7 may feel badly when the device isn’t being implemented all the time, which can lead to negative feelings that discourage them from using the device even more.
🔑 We can help parents feel less overwhelmed by setting realistic expectations for using the device (e.g., starting small,) telling them it’s OK to feel awkward to start using AAC, and teaching them how to model at home.
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